Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

November Hill farm journal, 190

 It’s a mostly hot and lazy month here on November Hill. The one thing here that is loving the heat this summer is the fig tree. It’s beyond laden and the ripening has kicked in: up to 15 huge ripe figs a day this week. As you can see, we have a fig thief, and my daughter caught her in the act.

The butterflies also seem to be thriving in the heat. We generally have a lot of them but it is traffic central out there this year. I found this female black swallowtail on a volunteer ironweed near my mulch pile yesterday. So beautiful.

Inside, most of us are relaxing. 

I’m personally feeling exhausted by the season. But thankfully we haven’t had anything seriously scary here, like wildfires and torrential rain riding in on hurricane winds. So I’m trying to focus on the lovely parts of this time of year even with it being my absolute least favorite. Onward to fall and chilly mornings. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Witts End Quarter Horses in Fayetteville, NC

UPDATE on 10/19/23:

UPDATE on 9/30/23:

UPDATE on 9/28/23:

Austin Wayne Simpson, of Hope Mills, was arrested and charged with cruelty to animals and felony conspiracy. Kylie Lenore Parker, of Fayetteville, was also arrested and charged with cruelty to animals and felony conspiracy.

UPDATE as of 8/28/23:

Please follow link for full story. Three of the five foals that were taken into custody have signs of injury consistent with the abusive training methods shown in the video linked below.

UPDATE AS OF 8/21/23:

Seven horses were removed from Witts End Quarter Horses (Kaylie and Austin Simpson, aka Kylie Parker) and you can follow the link posted below to read more about this.


More people weighing in with personal experience with Kylie Parker aka Kaylie Simpson and husband Austin Simpson:


In the event these people change the name of their farm to avoid the very bad press they are getting regarding the extremely abusive videos revealing their horse handling and “training” methods, their names are Kaylie and Austin Simpson. 

Kaylie is aka Kylie Parker. 

There’s a coordinated effort happening to stop this breeder - KYLIE PARKER - from continuing the abusive treatment of horses. Please read this and help if you can:

Here ya go 👇🏼👇🏼
Good morning everyone, here are email addresses that I would like to ask you guys to send emails to about the abuse on the foal by Witt’s end quarter horse! You can copy links to my post here on Facebook to add to your emails for them to see everything!
Let’s flood them with emails asking for the suspension or revocation of her membership.
And let me add it’s under the name Kylie Parker NOT Kaylie Simpson 😉
Without her membership she cannot continue breeding and showing thus putting her out of business.


 Today this popped up on several horse groups I’m in on Facebook:

It’s a post that includes several videos taken from the road of abusive “training” methods being used on a foal. I have only glanced at the videos as I do not want to see the full images of what is clearly described by others who reviewed them. The videos show a foal being dragged with a Gator, “waterboarded,” and beaten while lying down. A FOAL. 

Witts End Quarter Horses have removed their Facebook page as of an hour ago due to so many people commenting negatively. 

They are in Fayetteville, NC. 

All the links to their website are dead; I’m not sure if the links are old or if they’ve taken down the site. 

Here’s the number to the Cumberland County Animal Control and if you feel like adding to the growing list of complaints, give them a call:


Below is contact info for the AQHA and it would be a good idea to give them a call or email as well.

Feel free to share widely. They need to be shut down.                                                 

Thursday, August 10, 2023

What’s Coming Up In The Garden, 87: Pluchea camphorata (or odorata?)

 This summer we’ve had a new native plant volunteer, Pluchea camphorata, commonly known as camphor weed. It’s quite beautiful and is growing in the screenings of the riding arena, so clearly thrives in less than ideal soil. 

There’s a lot of differing info online about this plant and its identification, as well as whether or not it’s a host plant for any pollinators. It’s possible this is Pluchea odorata, but there’s also some info that says odorata is a hybrid, so I’m not going to dig any deeper than this. 

I’ll be interested to see if it returns next spring. For now, I’m enjoying its bloom time. 

Sunday, August 06, 2023

What’s Coming Up In The Garden, 85 and 86: early and late figwort

 I’ve missed a number of things I planted or that have volunteered here on November Hill, but am trying to start where I am today and then backtrack as I can. 

Our local extension agent and the queen of native plants in our area recently posted about her “new native plant crush” this year, which is late figwort. She took glorious photos of this plant currently in bloom (YOU CAN SEE THEM HERE) and I immediately went online to all our local native plant nurseries trying to find a few to put in. 

One of our nurseries had early figwort listed online and when my husband stopped by to get it for me, found they also had late figwort, so I ended up with two of each species. 

This morning I put them in along the front walkway which has turned into quite a showplace for some very distinctive plantings, including Gray’s sedge, wild columbine, pitcher plants and horsetail, spotted horsemint, Henry Eilers sweet coneflower, butterfly and milkweed, and a number of other things. The spotted horsemint and Henry Eilers coneflowers are quite intricately beautiful as will be these figwort, so it’s a perfect place to walk alongside them for close inspection and enjoyment of their flowers. 

It will be a year before these figwort show off fully, but I’m living in the moment and planting what I want to plant even as we continue searching for a new farm in Orange County. 

Here are a few photos of the figwort section and a number of other blooming things in the garden right now. 

Henry Eilers sweet coneflower:

Maypop, which I allowed to climb onto the American hollies this year:

My most beloved spotted horsemint:

Not on the walkway but this volunteered at the gate to the riding arena, known as stinkweed AND sweetweed because apparently it smells differently to different people:

Pitcher plants and horsetail:

The new figwort area:

A closer shot of the late figwort:

From the front porch you can really see the maypops starting to… pop:

Tuesday, August 01, 2023